Welcome to RAMP – Real Art Make Print at Ocean Studios


Letterpress printing is recognised for leaving a tactile and visual impression on the paper that no modern printing technique can emulate. However, the process depends on stocks of physical wood and metal type.
The introduction of photopolymer plates has changed everything – they are new-age material for an old-age technique and environmentally friendly too.
What makes printing from photopolymer so unique is that it begins digitally. First, a design is made on a computer using desktop publishing software. This has all the benefits of the digital world: access to thousands of typefaces, the ability to easily add custom artwork such as logos, illustrations, or hand-drawn lettering, and the ability to create design options without having to print each version.
Once the design details are finalised, the plate is made; and we enter the analogue world of letterpress. The digitally created design is given life through ink, paper, and pressure.
A photopolymer plate is a polymer sheet with one light-sensitive side. The digitally created design is transferred to a photo negative on the polymer sheet. It is then exposed to light in a controlled exposing unit. The exposed areas harden, and the rest stays soft and pliable. Then the plate is washed in water and rubbed with a soft brush (usually done in a dedicated washout unit, but it can be done by hand too). You rub away the soft unexposed material, leaving only the exposed areas. After a final baking period to fully harden the plate material, it is ready to withstand the intense bite of a letterpress.
Photopolymer plates can also be printed using an intaglio press and used to create artwork by using acrylics or watercolours on the printed image.
If you have an idea you would like to experiment with, or have a project to be printed letterpress, book a workshop or contact us to discuss it.

Photopolymer printing plates at Ocean Studios